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Air passenger numbers down 63 percent in May

The number of air travelers on domestic routes in May declined by more than 63 percent compared to April due to restrictions related to COVID-19 and fear of infection.

According to the data released today by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), 21.15 lakh domestic passengers traveled in May. This figure is 63.06 percent less than the 57.25 lakh passengers in April. Also, this is the lowest level since July 2020.
The second wave of Kovid-19 engulfed almost the entire country in May. At one time the daily number of new infected had crossed four lakhs. Most states had imposed partial or complete lockdown to prevent infection. Although air travel was not banned, many states had put very strict conditions for passengers coming from other states so that people travel by air only when absolutely necessary.

In May last year, regular passenger flights were completely closed for the first 24 days. Domestic flights were allowed from May 25 after a two-month break. The number of passengers continued to increase from May 2020 to February 2021. After this, it decreased for the next three months.

It is clear from the DGCA data that in May last, the Passenger Load Factor (PLF) i.e. the ratio of seats filled has decreased for almost all airlines. Affordable airline SpiceJet’s PLF declined from 70.8 per cent in April to 64 per cent in May. Despite this, it remained ahead of other airlines in this matter. This was followed by GoAir’s PLF of 63.3 percent, IndiGo’s 51.2 percent, AirAsia India’s 44.4 percent, Star Air’s 41.2 percent, Vistara’s 40.9 percent and Air India’s 39.3 percent, respectively.

The airline companies also canceled many flights due to the low number of passengers. Companies cited commercial reasons as the reason behind 67.9 percent of May cancellations. After this, the reason for the cancellation of 17 percent of the flights was due to the weather.
Air Taxi canceled the highest number of flights at 61.29 per cent. Air India had 16.34 per cent, Vistara 9.29 per cent, Air Asia India 3.80 per cent, Flybig 3.57 per cent, IndiGo 3.51 per cent, Spice Jet 1.81 per cent and TrueJet 1.64 per cent cancelled.